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What Happens When You Unintentionally Start Your Own Business

Published on February 25, 2020, at 8:20 p.m.
by Jordan Axel.

Courtesy of @chuklanov on Unsplash

Every year, the month of May is met with recent graduates who are ready to enter the workforce. Some people secured their positions in the fall, some are panicking, and some are in between.

According to a study done by Global Workplace Analytics (updated in 2019), “4.7 million employees (3.4% of the workforce) now work from home at least half the time.” The climb of the gig economy, job-to-job employment, influenced a rise in the percentage of self-employed individuals, increasing by 19% from 2005 to 2015.

In the current digital age, the amount of information available paired with social networking has opened new doors, full of opportunities to acquire temporary work, become freelancers and generate additional income.

Chloe Anagnos, founder of marketing and public relations consultancy, Argo Strategy, published an article on her website, 9-5 to CEO: How I Accidentally Started My Business … and Grew It. The article describes her transition from a full-time employee, who took on a “handful of clients,” to the founder of an LLC with “almost ten times” the number of clients she originally had.

The idea of starting your own business is appealing but scary. Anagnos and Ashley Monk, a social media strategist and founder of It Media, shared their experiences working remotely and specifically, how Anagnos “accidentally” started her own business.

Where to begin.

You have to start somewhere. This seems like a simple concept to comprehend, but it is easy to see the peak of the mountain and miss the slope staring back at you. Monk said, “It is really hard, fresh out of college, to start your own business.”

Courtesy of @dsmacinnes

Nike says it best, “Just Do It.” In Anagnos’s article, she wrote, “I had absolutely no idea what I was doing when I started, but had I not been willing to face this venture early on, I probably never would have started.” Both Anagnos and Monk had full-time jobs when they started taking on their own clients.

Anagnos wrote, “In 2012 I was a waitress. … By 2015, I was a college graduate who accidentally started a business.”

Create boundaries.

Working remotely sounds like the perfect gig, but it requires a high level of self-discipline. Anagnos recommended selecting a designated space in your house, so distractions are limited. Furthermore, an online article, Guide to Effective Remote Working, suggested setting a specific schedule.

Anagnos found that when you work remotely, many people take advantage of your free time and expect you to be more “available.” People are counting on you to deliver results, so set boundaries and stay connected and plugged in, she advised.

“The only person holding you accountable is you,” said Anagnos. “You don’t want someone coming in who can replace you in the office.”

Be aware of industry trends.

Courtesy of @andrewtneel on Unsplash

When Monk was working full time, she discovered the industry changes rapidly, and hard skills can’t be taught fast enough in school. She began to notice “holes she could fill,” and started taking on clients outside of her 9-to-5 job. Now, as of January 2020, she is working full time as the founder of It Media in Indianapolis.

One of her short-term goals is to grow her team and find one or two services they do exceptionally well. “We want to find one niche and find the biggest place we can stand out,” said Monk.

As the demand for remote workers increases, the opportunities for young professionals to find their space in the industry continues to grow. Monk said, “I would be willing to pay more for the best talent on a case-by-case basis than full-time employees.”

Anagnos said, “Remote work is the future of corporate America,” and the statistics mentioned above show there is no slowing down this trend.

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